Traffic-Aware Cruise Control

Traffic-Aware Cruise Control determines when there is a vehicle in front of you in the same lane. If the area in front of Model Y is clear, Traffic-Aware Cruise Control maintains a set driving speed. When a vehicle is detected, Traffic-Aware Cruise Control is designed to slow down Model Y as needed to maintain a selected time-based distance from the vehicle in front, up to the set speed. Traffic-Aware Cruise Control does not eliminate the need to watch the road in front of you and to manually apply the brakes when needed.

Traffic-Aware Cruise Control is primarily intended for driving on dry, straight roads, such as highways and freeways.

To Use Traffic-Aware Cruise Control

To initiate Traffic-Aware Cruise Control when no vehicle is detected ahead of you, you must be driving at least 18 mph (30 km/h), unless certain vehicle and environmental conditions are met, in which case, you may be able to initiate it at lower speeds. If a vehicle is detected ahead of you, you can initiate Traffic-Aware Cruise Control at any speed, even when stationary, provided Model Y is at least 5 feet (150 cm) behind the detected vehicle and certain vehicle and environmental conditions are met.

Icon showing the set speed.
When Traffic-Aware Cruise Control is available but not engaged, the touchscreen displays a gray speedometer icon beside the current driving speed. The number shown in gray represents the cruising speed that will be set when you engage Traffic-Aware Cruise Control.
Icon showing the set speed.
When Traffic-Aware Cruise Control is actively cruising at a set cruising speed, the icon turns blue and displays the set cruising speed.
  1. To engage Traffic-Aware Cruise Control when it is available, move the drive stalk down once, then release the accelerator pedal to allow Traffic-Aware Cruise Control to maintain the cruising speed.
  2. To change your speed while using Traffic-Aware Cruise Control, you can use the scroll wheel, drive stalk or touchscreen. For more details, see Changing the Cruising Speed.
    • Roll the right scroll wheel up or down to increase or decrease your set speed.
    • Pull and hold the drive stalk down for approximately one second or touch the speed limit sign on the touchscreen to cruise at the speed limit.
  3. To cancel Traffic-Aware Cruise Control, push the drive stalk up once or press the brake pedal. See Canceling and Resuming for more information.

Changing the Cruising Speed

Roll the right scroll wheel up to increase, or down to decrease, the set speed. Slowly rolling the scroll wheel changes the set speed in 1 mph (1 km/h) increments and quickly rolling the scroll wheel changes the set speed to the closest 5 mph (5 km/h) increment.

Image showing a zoombox going to the right scroll wheel with arrows going up and down on the scroll wheel.

You can also use the touchscreen and drive stalk to change the set cruising speed:

  • To adjust the cruising speed to your current driving speed, touch the speedometer icon.
  • To cruise at the speed limit (plus any offset), pull and hold the drive stalk down for approximately one second or touch the speed limit icon on the touchscreen (if displayed).

Cruising at the Set Speed

Traffic-Aware Cruise Control maintains your set cruising speed whenever a vehicle is not detected in front of Model Y. When cruising behind a detected vehicle, Traffic-Aware Cruise Control accelerates and decelerates Model Y as needed to maintain a chosen following distance (see Adjust the Following Distance), up to the set speed.

Traffic-Aware Cruise Control also adjusts the cruising speed when entering and exiting curves.

You can manually accelerate at any time when cruising at a set speed, but when you release the accelerator, Traffic-Aware Cruise Control resumes cruising at the set speed.

HOLD State

When following a vehicle, Traffic-Aware Cruise Control remains active at low speeds, even when Model Y comes to a full stop. When the vehicle is moving again, Traffic-Aware Cruise Control resumes operating at the set speed. However, under the following circumstances, Traffic-Aware Cruise Control goes into a HOLD state, in which case, you need to briefly press the accelerator pedal to resume cruising. When the HOLD status is active, the touchscreen displays the HOLD icon and a message that indicates that you need to resume cruise control. The following circumstances can cause Traffic-Aware Cruise Control to go into the HOLD state:

  • Model Y has been at a standstill for 5 minutes.
  • Model Y detects a pedestrian (the HOLD state may clear when the pedestrian is no longer detected).
  • Model Y suddenly loses visibility of the vehicle in front of you.
  • The ultrasonic sensors detect an obstacle in front of Model Y.

Cruising Near or On Freeway Exits

When cruising near an exit on a controlled access road (such as a highway or freeway) and engaging the turn signal toward the exit, Traffic-Aware Cruise Control assumes you are exiting and begins to slow down the vehicle. If you do not drive onto the exit, Traffic-Aware Cruise Control resumes cruising at the set speed. In a region with right hand traffic, this occurs only when you engage the right turn signal when driving in the right-most lane within 164 feet (50 meters) of an exit. Likewise in regions with left hand traffic; when engaging the left turn signal when driving in the left-most lane within 164 feet (50 meters) of an exit.

When cruising onto an on-ramp to a controlled access road (such as a highway or freeway), Traffic-Aware Cruise Control automatically adjusts the set cruising speed to the speed limit of the highway, plus any offset you have specified (see Speed Assist).

When enabled while on a highway interchange or off-ramp, Traffic-Aware Cruise Control may reduce your set speed in 5 mph (5 km/h) increments – to as slow as 25 mph (40 km/h) – to better match the reported speeds of other Tesla vehicles that have driven at that specific location. To override this and continue cruising at your set speed, tap the accelerator pedal or touch the plus (+) or minus (-) button on the touchscreen. The new set speed is maintained for the duration of the interchange or off-ramp (unless you override it or cancel Traffic-Aware Cruise Control). After the interchange or off-ramp, the set speed may revert or change as necessary based on the new location. For example, if you merged onto a different highway, the set speed reverts back to the set speed that was in use before driving on the interchange.

Adjust the Following Distance

To adjust the following distance you want to maintain between Model Y and a vehicle traveling ahead of you, press the steering wheel's right scroll button to the left or right. Choose a setting from 1 (the closest following distance) to 7 (the longest following distance). Each setting corresponds to a time-based distance that represents how long it takes for Model Y, from its current location, to reach the location of the rear bumper of the vehicle ahead of you.

Image showing a zoombox going to the right scroll wheel with arrows going left and right on the scroll wheel.

As you adjust the following distance, the touchscreen displays the current setting.

Screenshot of two cars with a measurement between them and the number "3".

Overtake Acceleration

When following a vehicle with Traffic-Aware Cruise Control active, engaging the turn signal (to indicate a move into the passing lane) accelerates Model Y towards the vehicle ahead. By momentarily holding the turn signal stalk up or down, you can quickly accelerate up to your set speed without having to press the accelerator pedal. The turn signal causes acceleration only when all of the following conditions are met:

  • Traffic-Aware Cruise Control is operating and detects a vehicle in front of you.
  • No obstacles or vehicles are detected in the target lane.
  • Model Y is traveling below the set speed, but over 45 mph (72 km/h).

Overtake Acceleration is intended as an aid when passing a vehicle ahead of you. When the turn signal is engaged, Traffic-Aware Cruise Control continues to maintain distance from the vehicle ahead, but allows you to drive slightly closer than your selected distance.

Acceleration cancels when one of the conditions happen:

  • You reach your set cruising speed.
  • Changing lanes takes too long.
  • Model Y gets too close to the vehicle ahead.

    OR

  • You disengage the turn signal.

Canceling and Resuming

To manually cancel Traffic-Aware Cruise Control, move the drive stalk up once or press the brake pedal. The speedometer icon on the touchscreen turns gray to indicate that Traffic-Aware Cruise Control is no longer active.

Image of the drive stalk with an arrow going up.

To re-enable cruising at the current driving speed, move the drive stalk fully down once then release.

Image of the drive stalk with an arrow going down.
  • You press the brake pedal.
  • Your driving speed exceeds the maximum cruising speed of 90 mph (150 km/h).
  • You shift Model Y.
  • A door is opened.
  • The view from the radar sensor (if equipped) or camera(s) is obstructed. This could be caused by dirt, mud, ice, snow, fog, etc.
  • The traction control setting is manually disabled or is repeatedly engaging to prevent wheels from slipping.
  • The wheels are spinning while at a standstill.
  • The Traffic-Aware Cruise Control system is failing or requires service.

When Traffic-Aware Cruise Control is unavailable or cancels, Model Y no longer drives consistently at a set speed and no longer maintains a specified distance from the vehicle ahead.

Summary of Cruise Indicators

Icon showing the set speed.
Traffic-Aware Cruise Control is available but is not actively controlling your speed until you activate it. The number shown in gray is determined by Speed Assist (see Controlling Speed Assist).
Icon showing the set speed.
Traffic-Aware Cruise Control is operating and is either maintaining the set speed (no vehicle in front) or is maintaining a chosen following distance from a vehicle ahead (up to the set speed).
Screenshot of "Hold" below a 0.
Model Y has fully stopped but is in a HOLD state. If safe, press the accelerator pedal to resume cruising at the set speed.

Limitations

Traffic-Aware Cruise Control is particularly unlikely to operate as intended in the following types of situations:

  • The road has sharp curves.
  • Visibility is poor (due to heavy rain, snow, fog, etc.).
  • Bright light (such as from oncoming headlights or direct sunlight) is interfering with the view of the camera(s).
  • The radar sensor (if equipped) is obstructed (dirty, covered, etc.).
  • The windshield is obstructing the view of the camera(s) (fogged over, dirty, covered by a sticker, etc.).